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About This Item

Unique ID Code: 0000021363
Added by: DVD Reviewer
Added on: 6/8/2001 21:01
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Evil Dead, The: Special Edition (UK)

8 / 10
7 votes cast
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The ultimate experience in gruelling terror
Certificate: 18
Running Time: 85 mins
Retail Price: £19.99
Release Date:

Available uncut for the first time in the UK on VHS and DVD, The Evil Dead is a classic cult horror film made in 1979.

Five college kids take a holiday in a remote log cabin where they find the mysterious Book of the Dead (The Necronomicon) and a tape recording which belong to the owner of the cabin. In the surrounding Tennessee Forest the evil dead lie in wait for the ancient incantation that will give them license to inhabit bodies of the living. Watch in horror as the five friends listen to the tape recording and unwittingly resurrect the slumbering demons.

Special Features:
Intetractive Menus
Dual Audio Commentary Tracks with Director Sam Raimi, Producer Robert Tapert and Star Bruce Campbell
Still Photo Library

Video Tracks:
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1

Audio Tracks:
Dolby Digital 5.1 English
DTS ES 6.1 English

Directed By:
Sam Raimi

Written By:

Ellen Sandweiss
Bruce Campbell
Sarah York
Hal Delrich
Betsy Baker

Soundtrack By:
Joseph Lo Duca

Edna Ruth Paul

Gary Holt

Executive Producer:
Sam Raimi
Robert Tapert
Bruce Campbell

Anchor Bay

Your Opinions and Comments

8 / 10
The Evil Dead is one of the most notorious horror films ever made and is now available uncut in the UK for the first time.
The film deserves its classic status as it is a damn good horror film. There is lots of blood and gore here so if you like that sort of thing, you`re in for a treat.

The picture has been controversially framed at 1.85:1 rather than the original 1:33.1 ratio but this done by the assisstance of the director. The picture is very good for a low budget horror film. While not being reference quality, the picture is very clear and contains a fair amount of detail. The sound is available in either DD 5.1 or DTS. Both tracks sound great though the DTS is the better of the two.

Extra material includes the trailer, photo gallery and two audio commentaries. The first commentary features director Sam Raimi and producer Rob Tapert and contains a lot of information on the film. The two stay serious most of the time but they do make fun of the film at times. The second commentary features actor Bruce Campbell and is hilarious.
This guy not only talks about many aspects of the film`s production but he also makes of fun of it and he is pretty good at it too. The menus are also very good and fit in with the film.

A horror classic is finally released in an uncut form on a good disc. Although the film is not for those who don`t like blood and gore, everyone else should give this film a try.
posted by AD1986 on 16/9/2001 03:01
9 / 10
This was great film! The effects are awesome for it`s time. I especially liked the floating shark effect which totally blew my mind. According to the commentary this one effect took at least three quarters of the budget for the film. Great expenditure! The only gripe I have, however, if within the second commentary. I didn`t think the fact that Bruce was bisexual needed to be known. Apparently that`s the only reason that there were no hardcore sex scenes included as Bruce would only perform with a man and Sam didn`t want his film to be pigeon-holed with gay hardcore like many films of the time were. Other than that - no gripes whatsoever.
posted by g0at on 25/9/2001 20:15
8 / 10
When it all comes down to it every trilogy has a beginning and in regards to the Evil Dead trilogy... Well, what a beginning!

"Watch in horror as five vacationing college students unwillingly resurrect these slumbering demons, and are forced into battle with the supernatural forces that occupy the forests and dark bowers of man`s domain."

What has become one of the most well known horror films to date (you could say a mainstream cult film, if that`s possible) is now available in its uncut form in the good old United Kingdom thanks to those jolly old people from Anchor bay. The only problem is:

Is it worth the wait?

Well, kinda... I`d swing more towards the `Yes` option but I`m still looking that at `No` button. You see, although it is a great film and it is about time it got an uncut release I still feel more could have been done with the disc. Take a look at Elite`s R1 Collector’s Edition of "The Evil Dead"... Yeah you`ve noticed it, nearly exactly the same just we`re missing the behind the scene/extra footage and are given a 6.1 DTS track. For some that might be an acceptable swap but I`d have liked to have that extra footage.

The film itself is superb in that good old late 70`s/early 80`s style and although you can really feel the low budget roots it springs from, you don`t really care. Filmed on a 16mm camera it means that the aspect ratio is 1.33:1 (4:3) but Anchor Bay have given us a nice 16x9/1.85:1 transfer here (approved by Sam Raimi) which really does make this film seem like a brand new release. The picture is great and although some grain can be noticed at times what else can you expect from a 16mm film? The audio is also superb with crisp clear dialogue and music really allowing you to have a new appreciation for the "cheesy" music used throughout the film. The extra 6.1 DTS track really makes you feel like you`re in the cinema watching it. The menu(s) also really fit with the film and are nicely animated although they may cause problems on some machines (the Dansai 852 for example).

Feature wise we have the theatrical trailer for the US, two commentaries (one by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert the other by Bruce "Don`t call me Ash" Campbell) and some pictures. This is the only lacking point of a great disc especially the lack of the "missing footage" (which I`ve already moaned about) but the commentaries really do make up for it. Bruce is great nit picking and at putting down the film while Sam and Rob talk about the little production notes among other items.

So should you buy it? Depends... How much do you want that 6.1 DTS track and widescreen transfer? Is the answer not much? Well if not then I`d go for Elite`s version although if you`re me (stupid) then you`d get both.
posted by Evil Disco Guy on 18/11/2001 01:31
7 / 10
"The Evil Dead" is perhaps as important a cult horror film classic as George A. Romero's "Night Of The Living Dead" and just as influential upon filmmakers too. The little film that cost $375, 000 went on to earn far more than the film's budget and launched the careers of Writer and Director Sam Raimi, Producer Rob Tapert, and Actor Bruce Campbell and spawned two successful feature film sequels and even a videogame. Anchor Bay released four collectable picture disc DVD-Videos a few years ago while Elite Entertainment released a "Special Collector's Edition" around the same time that features some nifty extras that have been for the most part carried over to the new Anchor Bay DVD release.

Filmed in full Academy Ratio of 1.37:1 on 16mm film, the DVD has been reframed by Sam Raimi to 1.85:1 anamorphic. The top and bottom of the screen have been cropped. In most scenes this is fine, but sometimes a few shots appear "not right" and a little tight. The picture quality is about the best you're ever going to get. The focus is not deep and anything not in the immediate foreground appears slightly blurred. Grain is heavy, blacks are not deep enough and it is constantly a touch to soft. This is obviously due to the technical limitations of the film. None of these problems are likely to bother you, or lessen your enjoyment of the movie.

The original mono track has been given a full Dolby Digital and DTS remastering. Anchor Bay have gone all the way and created 6.1 tracks for "Evil Dead". Both are quite forceful, but sometimes can be a bit strident and tinny. Obviously the mono soundtrack cannot be remixed to sound like Black Hawk Down.

Whether you`re a fan of horror films or not, if you want to be a filmmaker, you simply need to see the first "Evil Dead" movie. It`s not written incredibly well, nor is the story such that you`ll find yourself unable to stop talking about it. No, it`s nothing like that. But "Evil Dead" does illustrate the all-important lesson in film: style over substance works best. "Evil Dead" was shot with so much creativity and verve that it simply demands to be loved. You may not be able to stomach the film the whole way through, but you will be captivated by it nevertheless. And no one on this planet can say that it doesn`t work as a movie.
posted by Aslan on 2/10/2002 17:11
9 / 10
This is one of the main foundations for horror today, if you look at a lot of films you can see in certain horror/sci-fi`s they have used modified ideas from the classic evil dead. The film used all original effects none of this computer special effects. it is a classic and in my eyes there is not a new film can beat it.
posted by Dan Hargreaves on 22/8/2003 03:00
8 / 10
Intro-Evil Dead: One of the first video nasties(a list of films that claim to `corrupt the viewer` and cause serious harm). When submitted to the BBFC in the early 80`s, they demanded cuts to Evil Dead before releasing it in the cinema. In order to avoid the video nasties list(but the cinema cut still got into the list anyway), more cuts were demanded to get a legal video release or basically no release at all.

Lets forward some 18 years later in 2001, the uncut form of Evil Dead was submitted to the BBFC. They passed it without cuts and hence this is the uncut version(for the first time yay!). From the tree rape to chopping off limbs, you`ll find it untampered.

It uses the clichéd plot of having a group of college kids who take a holiday in an abandoned cabin and find a book and a tape recording which belonged to the owner of the cabin. From then on, prepare for a ton of blood spewing about the screen. Usually, clichéd plots are terrible but this one fits well at that time. It doesn`t fit in nowadays. The violence when it comes, is shocking. It emphasise more on gore than bloody violence. Nontheless, it is slightly dated and very comic book feeling.

Video- Reframed in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is not the OAR as the OAR is 1.33:1. To some purists, this is not a very wise decision. According to Bruce Campbell, the film is shot in 16mm and the only to get widescreen is to cut the top and bottom (he mentions about the film used in the audio commentary). Despite the film being given the THX treatment, the video is very grainy throughout although I`m not suprised since the movie is over 20 years old. Purists who don`t like the widescreen version should stick to VHS. On the otherhand, if you`re a first time buyer and curious about the Evil Dead franchise, you can get your hands on the Evil Dead Trilogy. It`s available for £15 at (This may have changed to by the time this review has been posted)

Sound- JOIN US!! JOOIIIINN US!!!!! Evil Dead was originally in mono, has been remastered in 5.1 or DTS. Both remixes are very pleasing and give ambient noises on all speakers. From deadites getting their limbs cut off or severed to the cheesy and dated score. Again, purists(the guys who petition the film makers to retain the original sound and not remix it etc etc) won`t like the newly remixed sounds at all. Unfortunately, the original sound elements aren`t included on the Evil Dead Trilogy. The sound mixes are quite a shock(in a good way). Oddly, there`s a French dub of this film available in 2.0 or 5.1.

Extras- Suprisingly, there`s enough room on this disc to leave a good number of extras despite the inclusion of a DTS track and 2 French dubs. First up we have two audio commentaries, one from Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert and one from Bruce Campbell.

The former is some-what boring and sparse as Raimi and Tapert only say a few words at a time then a very long break. Recorded in New York, you can hear some ambient noise throughout and you might hear one of these guys breathe heavily from time to time. After the 80 min roundabout is over, this is one of the most boring commentaries ever.

The latter is the most interesting of the bunch and Bruce gives his anecdotes on the film. Interesting points including the opening scene with the evil force roaming about in the lake is Bruce pushing Sam in a cart and the blood in this film required lots of Kerrol(sp?) syrup. After this 80 min roller coaster(in contrast to the slow roundabout), this is worth listening to. You get an intro from Bruce when you select his commentary(claiming Sam and Rober are a "little" senile), very funny and one of the best commentaries I`ve ever heard.

Next, you have an Outtakes & Behind-the-Scenes footage. It`s very grainy(obviously) and all washed out. There`s a scene that`s not included in the final cut. The footage clocks in at 18 mins.

A Fanalysis documentary and Discovering Evil Dead featurette are both self explanatory and clock in at 26 and 13 mins respectively. Fanalysis has Bruce Campbell talk about the no. of fans he`s got and his B-Actor status etc. Discovering Evil Dead features interviews from people who run a theatre which shows unknown movies.

The package is complete with galleries, a trailer and 4 really cheesy tv spots.

There are also 2 easter eggs. The first one is a screen test for Special Effects and the 2nd is a 2001 Halloween screening of Evil Dead. They last 1 and 7 mins respectively.

Overall- For a movie with a budget of $300,000, it managed to achive cult classic status. Two thumbs up. The DVD is worth buying for the pumped up sound mix and Bruce Campbell`s exceptional audio commentary(if only all commentaries are like his).
posted by alias-rf2 on 11/6/2004 21:20